Noting that India is destined to be a close partner of the US, a top Pentagon official has said New Delhi wants to enhance military-to-military relationships through close technology cooperation and co-production.

“India is, I think, destined to be a close partner of the United States. We just share so much in the way of values and aspirations, and our people just seem to mix it up so easily and so well.

“That has nothing to do with the defence or military but I think will be reflected there,” Ashton Carter the Deputy Secretary of Defence said here yesterday.

He was speaking on the US Defence Rebalance in Asia at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies here.

“One area of particular importance where I think we would make a lot of progress quickly is in building the Indian military capabilities. They don’t want to do it just by buying things. India wants to do it with close technology cooperation and co-production,” Carter said in response to a question.

Earlier in his opening remarks, Carter said India is a key part of US re-balance in Asia.

“More broadly, (India is) an emerging power that we believe will help determine the broader security and prosperity of the 21st century with others,” he said.

“Our security interests with India converge on maritime security and broader regional issues, including India’s Look East Policy.

“We’re also working to deepen our defence cooperation, moving beyond purely defence trade toward technology sharing and co-production,” he said.

Carter added that the US re-balance towards Asia is the perpetuation of the pivotal American military role in the Asia-Pacific region, of providing the peace and stability that has allowed the countries of Asia, first Japan, then South Korea, South-east Asia, and now China and India, to develop politically and economically in a climate that has been free from conflicts.

(This article was published on April 9, 2013)
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